There are a variety of options available for treating substance use disorders.
Regardless of the severity of these disorders, centers like our drug and alcohol treatment center in Chicago offer highly structured programs that assist patients in achieving long-term sobriety. In addition to substance-specific treatment, we offer additional programming that supplements patients’ recovery outside of rehab. We know that treatment is only one step in the recovery process, and alumni in recovery deserve support long after completing treatment at our center. We’re sharing some major benefits of alumni recovery programs for people who have completed addiction treatment.
What is an Addiction Alumni Program?
The alumni recovery program was designed for patients who need additional support and guidance after completing addiction treatment. We created our alumni program at Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago to help our patients stay on track during their transition from rehab back to daily life. We know this process can be a bit tricky, and patients are often worried about whether they’ll stay sober without our 24-hour care. An alumni program for recovering addicts is the perfect way to offer these individuals support while giving them the space they need to rediscover themselves and develop sober habits that suit their needs.
Benefits of Alumni Recovery Programs for Sobriety
The thought of going back to a home or life - that was once riddled with drugs and alcohol - after getting sober and receiving daily care can be terrifying. We understand that support shouldn’t end when drug or alcohol treatment does. Alumni programs can provide ongoing support during addiction recovery and help people remain drug and alcohol-free. Below are some benefits of alumni programs for recovery.
Smooth Transition From Rehab to Daily Life
Patients may not feel ready to jump back into a life where stressors and other challenges may present themselves. They may not feel strong enough to fight temptations or cravings on their own. Alumni programs ease the stress associated with this transition by offering structured activities and events. For example, some programs may offer these individuals transitional living arrangements, otherwise known as sober living homes. This adds a step between rehab and returning home that can make the change much easier to bear.
Keep People Connected to the Recovery Community
The recovery community is a large one. For a recovering addict, being part of a community made up of other people who are also working towards long-term sobriety can be comforting. Alumni programs keep each of these recovery community members connected, reminding them of the many people they can turn to in times of trouble.
Provide Ongoing Support From Recovery Sponsors
Alumni programs, like ours, are usually provided through drug and alcohol rehab programs and offered as a form of aftercare service. As a result, group members can stay connected with the treatment providers who helped them through every step of the way. These personal connections can be beneficial, considering how difficult it is for many to admit vulnerability in times of need. Keeping patients connected with treatment providers they’re comfortable with can ease their worries and welcomes them to ask for help. Trained professionals are also able to recognize the signs of relapse and take necessary action.
Access to Addiction Education and Other Recovery Resources
Alumni recovery programs also provide members with weekly meetings, education, group sessions, workshops, and other monthly sober activities that provide insight into the different facets of addiction recovery. These activities encourage peer support and group interaction, strengthening the sense of community among members while teaching them new sober skills. Addiction treatment professionals and recovery advocates facilitate these activities. Many alumni programs also send out newsletters and distribute event calendars to members, providing them with different group options so they can decide how they’d like to participate.
Offer Peer Support and Encouragement
The main goal of an alumni program for recovering addicts is to support them in their recovery. These are all people who belong to a community that shares the goal of long-term sobriety. Being involved in a network of people who can relate to your situation and understand what you’re going through can provide a unique level of encouragement and support. By being connected to others who are in various stages of recovery, members can reflect on past mistakes and learn how to avoid future ones.
Provide Relapse Prevention Strategies
Programs for alumni in recovery also provide 24-hour hotlines, a social media presence, and other resources that keep members accountable and allow them to quickly reach out for help during a time of crisis. Relapse is fairly common for people in recovery, especially within the first year, so it’s important for these individuals to learn powerful relapse prevention strategies. A major part of alumni program benefits is access to these skills and workshops that allow members to practice them together and apply them to everyday situations.
Opportunities to Practice Skills Learned in Addiction Treatment
As previously mentioned, alumni recovery programs also host workshops and group sessions where individuals can apply the skills they’ve learned during treatment. It takes time for a habit to develop and become second nature, so offering members a safe space where they can apply these recovery tools and receive additional guidance is important. Group sessions and meetings are also facilitated by these programs so patients can share any struggles they may be having, allowing them to receive peer support and sound advice from treatment professionals.
Flexibility Regarding the Level of Involvement
Another great thing about alumni rehab programs is their flexibility. Members can choose how involved they want to be in these groups. This flexibility caters to patients who may have to work, go to school, or care for their families. Those who have more free time can immerse themselves as much as they choose, while others may either attend meetings when they can or just participate frequently enough to stay connected. We never want our patients to feel obligated to talk to us. The point of these programs is to offer alumni a safe space and recovery resources that help them stay accountable, on track, and sober.
To experience the joy of sobriety, you must first receive addiction treatment. If you’re battling drug or alcohol abuse, call Banyan Chicago now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our various levels of addiction care.